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Man in court after police find 35 cannabis plants … drying on a clothes horse

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BT Coleraine

POLICE found 35 cannabis plants drying on a clothes horse, a court has heard.

A man has admitted charges of cultivating cannabis and possessing cannabis.

Jakob Rabel (24), of Taylors Row, Coleraine, had the offences detected at his address on January 27 this year.

He was in the dock at Coleraine Magistrates Court.

A defence lawyer told a previous court the defendant, who is Polish, has been living in Northern Ireland for five years and is in full-time employment.

At the time of the discovery the PSNI North Coast Facebook page posted a picture of the drugs drying on the clothes horse.

The post said officers “followed their noses” up stairs and found a “recently produced crop of herbal cannabis drying out on of all things a clothes horse”.

A prosecutor told this week’s court police entered the defendant’s home address and found 35 cannabis plants being dried on a clothes horse in an upstairs bedroom and there was a grow tent in the roofspace.

Rabel was arrested and made full admissions.

Defence barrister Michael Smyth said at the time of the offence the defendant was working in a meat factory and is now in alternative employment doing shifts and overtime.

He said the defendant had developed not so much an addiction but a “practice of smoking cannabis” and “wished to become self-sufficient of any drug dealers”.

The lawyer said the number of plants was probably quite high but he said that was due to a “degree of naivety” by Rabel as he “wasn’t sure how long his crop would last”.

District Judge Peter King said he would not speculate as to what the defendant may have done with “any surplus” but Mr Smyth said the defendant was not charged with any supply offence.

Mr Smyth said Rabel had expressed remorse and accepts his responsibility for possessing the drugs.

“He seems to have learned from this mistake,” the lawyer added.

Judge King said he could take into account the defendant’s clear record and guilty plea and fined him £500.

He also ordered that the drugs be destroyed and warned the defendant if he is back in court it will not be a fine the next time.

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